Governor General Silver Medalist: Thibaut Doix
When Thibaut Doix moved to Vancouver from his home country of France in 2008, the recession hit and he had difficulty getting a job that matched his environmental engineering experience.
He started a career as an independent environmental consultant, working as a contractor conducting salmon surveys.
When sustainability became his primary focus, Doix decided to upgrade his education by enrolling in Royal Roads’ School of Environment and Sustainability.
This November, Doix convocates with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Practice as the recipient of the Governor General’s Silver Medal for the undergraduate student with the highest academic standing. He’ll also receive the Chancellor’s Award and the President’s Scholar Award.
“It’s such a nice surprise to get all of these awards,” says Doix. “I would always try to go the extra mile and then the good grades came. I think it’s years of being self-employed. This is my bread and butter. If I do a good job, then my clients are happy and have me back again.”
Doix hasn’t just succeeded academically. While studying at Royal Roads, he became the directing manager of a Super Green Solutions franchise in Vancouver, helping small and medium-sized businesses become more sustainable in a cost-saving way.
“I had to create a business plan for one of my courses and I chose to do it for a sustainability consulting business. That’s what started everything for me: the willingness to do this new business,” says Doix.
“Super Green Solutions has two sides,” he explains. “On the one side it’s sustainability consulting, but we also procure products like window inserts, LED lighting, energy management software to help small and medium-sized businesses reduce their environmental footprint.”
Doix believes most small business owners care about sustainability, but in reality fewer than half become more sustainable because of lack of time, resources or knowledge. He now conducts sustainability audits and provides solutions to businesses, saving them money while improving their environmental performance.
“Being green is one thing, but you need to have a financial appeal, especially for small businesses because business is expensive,” he says.
Doix is currently working with a preschool. His comprehensive analysis will quantify the school’s environmental impact from the preschool’s energy use to its food waste and the cleaning products it uses. He will then propose solutions to reduce the use of natural resources and materials, which will save the preschool money.
Although fully immersed in launching his business, Doix will take a moment out to celebrate his successes at convocation November 7.